Launch Event for Peace Corps MI Degree

An official launch for the College of Charleston’s Peace Corps Master’s International (MI) degree option will be held on April 20, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. in the New Science Center Atrium. The event will celebrate volunteerism and international awareness while bringing together Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV) with invitees of the program.

The MI program integrates a master’s degree with overseas Peace Corps experience. The MI option will be available at the College of Charleston starting in fall 2011. It will focus on environmental and natural resources, and be part of the Master of Science in Environmental Studies Program (MES), which is the second largest program in the Graduate School. The College consistently ranks as a “Top 25” source for new Peace Corps volunteers, and in 2009 it was ranked 11th for midsize universities in the country.

“We’re extremely pleased to be selected as a Master’s International program in Environmental Studies,” MES Program Director Tim Callahan says. “Our mission is to provide students with opportunities to learn and apply their skills identifying environmental problems and solutions from multiple perspectives. It is so important to provide our students with a path to help people at the international scale and it will increase global opportunities for future students here at the College of Charleston.”

Students will begin taking classes in the MI program in environmental studies in August 2011. The first class of students will spend the fall 2011 and spring 2012 semesters on campus taking classes and developing their independent research program with faculty. They may begin their international service as soon as summer 2012.

While on campus, students will take a seminar course taught by a RPCV before they leave for their overseas experience. The course will focus on topics such as international environmental issues, maximizing productivity in an international setting, and cultural sensitivity when working in developing countries.

“As a former Peace Corps volunteer myself, having benefitted immensely from the international experience, I am delighted to be able to offer this option in our graduate programs at the College of Charleston,” says Dave Owens, program coordinator. “The opportunity for our students to obtain ‘real world’ experience, language training, and conduct thesis work in areas of great environmental need is a tremendous bonus for our programs.”

For more information about the event or MI program, contact Niki DeWeese at 843.953.5614.